Twitter Changing Direct Message Character Limits

In a move to stay competitive, Twitter recently revealed that they will be removing the 140 character limit to direct messages sometime in July of 2015. Public tweets will not be affected.

The announcement comes among many new changes for the company to make the website easier to use.  The hope seems to be that if the site is more user friendly than people will stick around to click on advertisements.

Twitter rolled out group messaging into the service in January of this year, and also added an option that allows users to receive direct messages from anybody using the site.

Another shake up for the company came last week, when Twitter's outgoing chief executive, Dick Costolo, resigned abruptly after rumors of being pressured by investors to increase the amount of users and create more lucrative advertising opportunities. Many say Costolo will be difficult to replace.

The ability to send longer direct messages should make it easier for companies who use the website for customer service responses. Almost all major companies, from 1-800 Flowers to General Motors, leverage Twitter to retain unsatisfied customers and manage their image. These major companies are also the ones most likely to invest big money into advertising.

Twitter is losing ground against its rivals. It currently only has 302 million users, while its competitors Facebook has 1.4 billion and WhatsApp's 800 million.

Twitter shares were down 0.5% in premarket trade, and are up just 0.1% this year, and the S&P 500 has gained 1.7%.

“For Twitter, the monetization opportunity is fundamentally limited unless it can spread its wings wider and encourage users to spend more time in its services,” Richard Windsor, a technology analyst at Edison Investment Research said.

Whether or not all of these changes will work in Twitter’s favor is yet to be seen. 

Direct Messages
Dick Costolo
Silicon Valley